How I paid the price for peace.

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in adult survivor of child abuse, truth | 0 comments

On Sunday, we had the privilege of viewing some old videos of my husband’s family. They were from 1989, so my husband was about 13 years old at the time. It was very entertaining for us, but I think it was so much more for our children. Our youngest son was completely enthralled over the fact that his daddy was on the tv screen, as a kid instead of the adult he sees. Our other kiddos seemed to enjoy watching from a nostalgic point of view, due to the major differences from 26 years ago. Let’s be real here, the clothing alone was humorous enough, just by itself.

I’ve been able to enjoy this type of experience often, over the years. There is something surreal, for a brief moment, when you have an opportunity to see a person you care about, as a youth. It’s like seeing into the inner workings of them. Almost as if you can see a few more puzzle pieces snapping together, into the big picture of who they are now.

Then the moment always comes, at some point, where I think to myself, “I can’t show my family my own history of growing up.”  It’s not because the pictures were bad, or that nothing was ever documented. My biological mother was very snap-happy, up until I hit my early teens. There are tons of pictures of me wearing goofy clothes from the 80’s, party dresses, birthdays, as well as the standard baby photos.

The reason I can’t ever show my family or friends is because I had to make a hard decision, and there was a price. Almost 13 years ago, I made the decision to cut ties with my bio mother. I chose peace instead of pain.

To give a brief background to the event itself:
My bio mother gave me my grandfather’s car when he passed away, because mine wasn’t working well. The night before my oldest son’s 5th birthday, she showed up at my home, demanding the keys back. My (ex)husband, and I, tried to reason with her to retrieve his birthday presents out of the trunk before she left. As things would generally go with her, it was full of painful drama and unstable behavior, with the end result of her attempting to run over my (ex)husband, in her effort to leave.  I tried again, by going to her home that evening.  I was met with the typical behavior of watching me through her closed front door, her silence, and acting as if she wasn’t there, even though I knew she was.  I simply didn’t exist, and I was shut out.

It was at that moment that I made the decision.  I was done.

She couldn’t hurt me anymore with her words, rejection, and abusive behavior, because I am old enough to understand it’s not me – it’s her own personal issue. However, her 5 year old grandson couldn’t possibly understand, nor was I willing to put him in that position. I refused to justify her behavior, or enable her to start the cycle with my children. That night, with a lot of of hurt and anger in my heart, I told her that this was the last straw, the last time she was going to hurt me, or my children. Then I left, for good.

I was also very appreciative for the convenience of a 24 hour large grocery/department store. I was able to replace my son’s gifts, he never knew what happened, and he enjoyed his 5th birthday, as a little boy should.

I learned: When you make the difficult decision to cut ties with a parent, there will be sacrifices that show up later in your life.  There is a price for peace, but you are worth it.

My price is that my children, my husband, or anyone else, can never have the opportunity to see what I looked like as a child.  My bio mother has all of the photo albums, and I will never see them again. All of the tacky dresses, the bad hair choices, the chubby baby face, and any other moments of growing up.  No comparison pictures of me as a child, and how my children resemble me.  None of what is considered a normal part of our personal history.

I’m okay with it, or as okay with it as I can be.  It hurts, and I will always wish things could be different. However, for now, I’ve come to accept things as they are.  Maybe someday, I’ll get the photo albums back. Until then, I will continue to enjoy watching my own children grow up, stress free, abuse free, and as close to normal as I can possibly give them.  And that is priceless.

– Heather Durling, The Phoenix Gathering
“One Starfish At a Time.”
Proud Member of ‪#‎WUVIP‬

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